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article imageOp-Ed: The battle over the 'bing' name

By R. C. Camphausen     Dec 23, 2009 in Internet
Thoughts that can occur when one gets to read about Bing! (almost unknown) taking on Bing! (Microsoft) over the name issue …
Most of us know the name Bing! for the recently established search engine launched by software giant Microsoft, yet one can read on Slashdot and Channel Web that there’s another Bing!, way smaller, in St Louis (Missouri).
Bing! Information Designs LLC went to court last week in order to sue the bigger Bing about so-called trademark infringement, because the St. Louis firm has used the name since 2000 – that is for almost ten years.
Although the company is now suing Microsoft for damages, it seems that their chance at winning the legal case is slim at best. The problem is that they did use the name Bing!, but had never actually filed a trademark application before May 2009, when it was already known that Microsoft would use this name.
Legally, the small company may therefore have a problem with their case. Morally, however, they are perfectly right. One would expect a financial giant like Microsoft to do some serious research when planning a product and searching for a name; and I’d even expect that they’d approach the small Bing! and ask to use their name … and then pay for it.
It will be interesting to see what the court does. The real question is whether or not ethics, or morality, still have any value or whether the justice system only deals with hard fact, i.e. words on paper.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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